Edinburgh’s first social enterprise pub launches

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Revelers in the capital can enjoy a cocktail with a conscience at the new Southside Social 

30th July 2015 by Robert Armour 2 Comments

Edinburgh’s first social enterprise pub will open its doors to the public next week (3 August).

The Southside Social will donate all of its profits to good causes while training young people for a career in the hospitality industry.

Opening in the former premises of the Meadow Bar in the city’s Buccleuch Street, the new bar will serve quality food and drink while supporting the local community.  

Visitors will be served by young people training for a certificate of work readiness who undertake a 19-week training program - a mix between classroom-based training, on-the-job training and work experience.

The program will also include qualifications in, for example, the Scottish Certificate for Personal License Holders (SCPLH), first aid at work, fire marshaling and food hygiene.

Trainees will also have the opportunity to sit 14 further industry specific modules through an online learning system. 

By visiting the pub, customers will be able to support good causes

It is envisaged that the rest of Edinburgh’s hospitality industry will use the pub as a way of recruiting well-trained, highly skilled and experienced new staff.

Chris Thewlis, one of the operators of the Southside Social, said: “It’s a fresh new concept within the social enterprise model and a groundbreaking new social venue for the people of Edinburgh to enjoy – something that I think will be welcomed in the city.

“By visiting the pub, customers will be able to support good causes while being served by some of the best-trained staff in the city. What’s not to like?

“Our aim is to help young people gain the skills, knowledge and experience required to make a career in the hospitality industry. We also hope that industry recruiters will treat the pub like a shop window, by dropping in and being served by prospective employees, who will be honing and showcasing their new skills on every shift they work.”

Stewart Grant, regional manager from Star Pubs and Bars, said: “We were looking for a fantastic and innovative use of the venue from a new lessee and this is wonderful. We are very pleased to support this excellent, worthwhile venture.”

The Southside Social will be open to the public on Monday, 3 August 2015 and will hold an official launch party on Friday, 7 August.

21st March 2017 by Renée Slater

We are planning a similar enterprise here in Aberdeen. A local pub closed & the lease states it must remain a pub. I would like some advice about your initial funding & the Aims & Objectives. Would love to visit you brilliant enterprise soon to talk about it. What's the best time. Will have to come down from Aberdeen.Renée Slater 07854222712

4th April 2017 by Renée Slater

I sent an email requesting a visit to the Southside Social a couple of weeks ago. I wonder if 2 of us can visit your organisation on Monday 24th April? We are planning a community enterprise in a now closed pub in Torry, Aberdeen. Your advice would be invaluable.